Warren McWilliams

Warren, born in Summerland, B.C. on June 5, 1916, passed away at the Capilano Care Centre in West Vancouver on December 5, 2004 at the age of 88. He was the eldest son of Lloyd and Mamie McWilliams and was a student at Lord Byng High School. He first went to sea as a crewman on the Canadian National coastal steamer, Prince Rupert. He later worked for the Canadian Pacific Railway and joined the Royal Canadian Navy in 1940. He met his future wife, Ingrid Grafstrom, at St. Helen’s Anglican Church AYPA group and they were married there in 1941. He served on the convoy escort vessel, HMCS Sault Ste. Marie on the North Atlantic from 1942 to 1944.


After the war, he went back to the CPR, initially in Moose Jaw, but he returned to Vancouver in 1946. He entered the insurance business with the Robert S. Day & Sons Company and later joined the Guardian Assurance Company, with whom he moved to Victoria. The family expanded to include five children, so their home became a neighbourhood source of warmth and lively activity. Warren travelled the length and breadth of Vancouver Island on business and made friends wherever he went. He and Ingrid moved to Comox in 1980 where Warren operated the Guardian branch office, he then joined Comox Valley Insurance and opened their Comox office. He was active in the Kiwanis Club and served the Courtenay Kiwanis Club as President and then as Lieutenant-Governor of Division 15. He was active in Meals on Wheels, Comox Valley Hospice and Emergency Preparedness, and was involved on the board of the Comox Valley Family Life Association which he served as Chairman. He was an active and loyal member of the Anglican church at both the Victoria and Courtenay churches of St. John the Divine.


Warren was a modest and kind man of integrity, decency, honour and great good humour. He was always interested in everyone he met so that seniors on his Meals on Wheels rounds, hospital patients, loggers or fishermen he met in pubs, fellow passengers on the ferries – anyone – would come away feeling that they had made a friend. As well as enjoying good music Warren read voraciously and was always interested in current events and in finding people with whom he could discuss his current interest.


He was a wonderful husband and brother, father and grandfather. Warren was truly “an inspiration to us all” as he was often told. The family would like to express their heartfelt appreciation to the wonderful staff of the 3rd floor of the Capilano Care Centre for the loving care and attention they always gave to Dad.


Warren is survived by his beloved wife of 63 years, Ingrid, at the Capilano Care Centre in West Vancouver. He is also survived by his children: daughter Beth Ritchie (Ron), of Comox and children Ian and Kirsten; daughter Alison Roe of North Vancouver and children Brianne and Ryan; daughter Stephanie McWilliams of Vancouver; daughter Heather Oliveras (Robert) of Fort Belvoir, Virginia and children Sarah and Jonathan; and son Scott McWilliams (Alicia) of Victoria and children Rowan, Georgia and Ivy. He is also survived by his brother, Bruce (Sheila) in Bethesda, Maryland and children Sandra, Roderic and Anna. Predeceased by his son-in-law, Douglas Roe in 2002.


Funeral Service will be held at St. Stephen’s Anglican Church, 885 – 22nd Street, West Vancouver on Thursday, December 9th at 3:00 pm. In lieu of flowers donations in Warren’s memory may be made to a charity of your choice.